We May Not Have A Family Doctor, But There Likely Is A Pharmacist

October 26, 2012: allaboutestates.ca

An announcement was made on October 9, 2012 by (soon to be former) Premier Dalton McGuinty that additional services can now be provided by pharmacists in Ontario. This decision is part of the government’s action plan to make health care more accessible. McGuinty announced that pharmacists who have been given appropriate training can now administer flu shots to Ontarians over the age of five. The pharmacists’ role is expanding and allowing for such serves as:
*Renewal or adapting existing prescriptions
* Prescribing medication to help people quit smoking
* Demonstrating how to use an asthma inhaler or inject insulin
* Supporting patients who have a chronic disease, such as diabetes, and monitor their condition.
This means that the pharmacists’ additional role will help to reduce the work load of doctors, nurses, and other health care providers. Ideally, this could then permit health care professionals to better serve their patients that require medical attention and subsequently reduce wait time for all of us. Pharmacists are typically under-utilized. If you have any questions about your medications and their side effects- speak to your pharmacist. They can also act as a liaison between client and doctor, providing up to date information on medications and side effects and possible interactions. We may see different specialists who may prescribe different drugs. Pharmacists can often identify and notify about duplicate drug therapies and know when a generic medication may be appropriate or not. The way medications can be delivered is also important- such as the use of blister packs and dossettes can can be prepackaged. Pharmacists can offer a real value added service and I am betting you may get a faster response from your pharmacist than from your own doctor- if you have one.
As of October 22, 2012, Ontarians can visit participating pharmacies to receive a flu shot which is a part of Ontario’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program. Roll up your sleeve and meet your local pharmacist!
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-Audrey Miller

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